LAS VEGAS, Nov. 13, 2000 — In his COMDEX/Fall 2000 kickoff keynote address on Sunday, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the public availability of the first beta version of Microsoft® Visual Studio.NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework, two key technologies for enabling developers to build Web Services on the .NET Platform. Web Services are applications and components made available over the Web via XML and SOAP, and are the key programmable building blocks of the next-generation Internet. Microsoft is making beta 1 of Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Framework broadly available to millions of customers and industry partners.
Gates also announced the formal submission of C# (pronounced "C-sharp" ) and the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) specifications to ECMA, a vendor-neutral international standards organization committed to driving industrywide adoption of information and communications technologies. This submission, co-sponsored by Intel Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., delivers on the promise of standardizing key technologies to enable greater interoperability between computing environments and thus helps companies leverage existing knowledge and current investments in software development infrastructure to build the next-generation Internet.
"Just as Visual Basic® 1.0 made developing applications easier and more accessible to a broad set of developers, I am confident that Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Framework will have a similar effect on the development of Web Services," Gates said. "Our goal is to provide developers with the ultimate development tools and a multilanguage framework for rapidly building Web Services. By adapting its industry-leading tools to support the .NET Framework, Microsoft is enabling millions of developers to leverage their existing skills to create next-generation Web Services in the language of their choice."
By submitting C# -- an object-oriented language derived from C and C++ -- and the CLI -- a subset of the .NET Framework -- to ECMA, Microsoft is following through on its commitment to standardize key interoperability technologies. C# provides the world's first component-oriented language for C and C++ developers. CLI includes base-class libraries and necessary plumbing components, enabling other software vendors to support C# on any operating system.
Web Services Today
Amid a groundswell of industry momentum surrounding Web Services, more than 20 companies are highlighting production Web Services at COMDEX, including these:
Maatra (part of Boxspoon)
Dell Computer Corp.
DMR Consulting Group Inc.
Dollar Rent a Car
Made2Manage Systems Inc.
"Dollar is very excited about Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Framework because they will propel our existing developers who are already building Web Services to more rapidly build next-generation applications," said Lou DeSotel, vice president of Information Technology Services at Dollar Rent A Car. "The DOLLAR Web Service will enable Dollar to build stronger B2B relationships through simpler system-to-system interfaces."
"At Galileo International, we make it our business to provide the travel industry with reliable and accurate access to schedule, availability and pricing information," said James E. Lubinski, executive vice president of Operations at Galileo International. "With Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Framework, our developers are able to quickly transform existing applications into Web Services. In providing standards-based Web Services to our customers -- services that can be automatically updated and easily linked to other services and existing applications -- we are continuing our mission to provide leading travel management solutions."
In addition, Microsoft today announced the new TerraService, a .NET Web Service built on TerraServer, which enables developers using Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Framework to easily integrate images and maps into their own applications. TerraServer, operated by Microsoft in partnership with Compaq Corp. and the U.S. Geological Survey, was created in 1998 and is the largest database on the Internet.
MSDN .NET Developer Center: The Resource for .NET Developers
Today Microsoft also launched the MSDN® .NET Developer Center at http://msdn.microsoft.com/net/ , which offers a central focus on MSDN for developers interested in .NET. MSDN is a premium membership service that delivers developers essential programming information, including the latest Microsoft software and tools. Every year MSDN provides more than 3 million professional developers with the resources they need -- tools, access to code and support to build, deploy and implement software applications.
The .NET Framework beta 1 is available for free download on the MSDN .NET Developer Center (connect-time charges may apply). Visual Studio.NET beta 1 is available today for download by MSDN Universal subscribers, or can be ordered for the cost of materials and shipping on http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/ .
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